Honda Odyssey Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’ve heard of many people talking about how bad the VCM is on the Honda 3.5’s. So basically, ? it can cause:

Oil consumption
Quickly worn out engine mounts
Vibrations
Fouled spark plugs

Are these pretty much all of the symptoms or am I missing something? This does not seem like a big deal; I have about 120k miles on my VCM engine and I don’t have any of these problems. But if there are worse symptoms that can be caused by VCM I will probably get the VCM muzzler.
Also are there any downsides to deactivating VCM besides lower fuel mileage?

Thanks for any help
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
There is no downside and your fuel mileage will not be lower.

VCM causes damage to the piston rings. This then causes misfires, excessive oil consumption, vibrations, and prematurely bad engine mounts.

Replacing the damaged piston rings is a huge, expensive engine tear-down job. Honda issued an extended warranty to cover this repair for free, even though they never admitted it is caused by VCM (which it is). They also lost a class action lawsuit.

No offense, but it would be foolish not to disable the VCM.

Just because you are not experiencing these VCM problems now, does not mean they won't crop up tomorrow. You are taking a risk.

Plus simply by disabling VCM your ride will be so much smoother and enjoyable. The engine will be purring on all 6 cylinders all the time.

I think I paid about $30-40 for the original VCMuzzler many years ago. The VCM Tuner II is now often recommended here (for good reasons) and costs $120.

Do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I "muzzled" our 2010 EX-L at about the same mileage as yours - also hadn't experienced any significant problems yet. But it was by far the best thing I've done to the van. Driveability is much better, without the hesitations as it came in and out of "Eco" mode, and more consistent power and throttle response. In addition, we have actually been getting better calculated highway fuel economy (comparing 1500-mile trip averages for the same route, same time of year, same driver), and about the same in-town economy. Highly recommended.
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
The oil consumption and fouled spark plugs can become an expensive problem to fix if ignored and not caught very early. It can also cause damage to related items on the car (i.e. catalytic converter, ignition coils). You might not notice any issues, but that doesn't mean that VCM isn't causing damage. The proper fix once you're getting misfires is to tear down the engine and replace the piston rings.

I changed my spark plugs at 84K, and the rear plugs were not fouled, but were much more worn down than the front ones. It was clear something was not right.

The 2008-2013 models were the most badly affected. I would get a Muzzler on your car ASAP and pray that VCM hasn't already damaged your engine/piston rings too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the responses. Im considering getting the muzzler. I definitely want to keep my powertrain in good condition.
How does VCM damage piston rings? Is it because of carbon deposits that fall into the cylinder or something?
Also while we are at it, are there any other common mechanical issues with this gen Odyssey that I should watch out for?
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Just chiming in on my experiences with VCM (and elimination). I had a 2008 Ody with about 190k that I purchased with about 105k on it. I had several strange stumbling issues which switching in and out of ECO mode, one which sent a code which prevented the tranny from locking up on the highway. Fortunately this was reset by restarting the vehicle. I started reading up on this topic and heard about VCM elimination and seemed like a possibly good idea, but I wasn't sold.

I had a free Saturday and decided to do the valve adjustment myself. When I got the valve covers off, the difference in color and condition between the front and rear bank was night and day. Front looked like a new car, rear was all gunky and black. And, yes I changed the oil every 5-7k miles. Some may be due to the location of the cylinder bank, but could be (?) the fact that the rears run less often?

I figured let's give it a whirl, and bought the S-VCM (about $100). It took 5 minutes to install, and no codes. From the first 2 minutes of driving, it's like I had a new vehicle. The smoothness and energetic feel of my Ody was vastly improved. No more hunting for gears on the highway with the cruise on...it used to have a lugging sound, then no lugging, then kickdown...after installation a big improvement. I track all my fuel economy in all my vehicles, and measured about 1-1.5 reduction in mpg on the highway, no noticeable reduction in town at all. Worth it.

I drove it to just over 200k, then sold it, keeping the S-VCM for the 2015 I bought. I bought it (110k) from a private seller who had just done a ring job on the rear banks. He said the car stumbled, almost stalled, then threw a CEL. Dealer told him the #2 plug was completely coated in oil, and needed the rear bank re-ringed...>$4000 in repairs, no warranty, ouch! He gave me the receipts...it wasn't pretty.

I drove this new one for about 2 weeks to get a baseline in fuel economy, then installed my VCM. I recorded a similar reduction of maybe 1+ mpg on the highway, and negligible in town. But this one gets 26+ at 70mph which is vastly superior to my 08 which I was getting more like 22 (both with S-VCM installed), so I'm thrilled either way.

My recommendation - it's $100 give or take, and 5-15 minutes depending upon your ability. Any Honda with VCM should have this installed ASAP. My old one went 190k before I put it in (and I don't know what was done for repairs before 105k when I bought it), but the new one had MAJOR engine repairs needed at about 100k, so I would not roll the dice. AND the car drives so much better without it, the 1 mpg is a very small sacrifice, even for me driving 130 miles a day.

You could just say "don't buy a Honda with VCM", but then you'd miss out on all of the other fantastic things about this vehicle. Honda bulletproof reliability is mostly, in my mind, a thing of the past, but I keep buying them due to everything else I like about their cars. If VCM elimination can make the car more bulletproof, I'm sold.
 

·
Registered
2010 EX-L 225,000 2010 Touring 89,000
Joined
·
72 Posts
I too bought my 2010 EX-L four years ago with 112K miles. I knew nothing about the VCM system on the van. At about 185K miles it was using 1 qt of oil every 1000 miles, then soon triggered the CEL. I took it to my Honda dealer (where I had bought it) and was told it need the rings replaced at my expense. The dealer replaced 1 or two spark plugs. I then found this forum and learned a lot. I installed a muzzler and all new plugs asap and the oil consumption stopped. I now have about 225K miles and it's running like a new car. I'm on the second timing belt replacement and the valves have been adjusted. That was all done last year. I like the van so much I went out and bought another 2010, Touring model this time. It has 88K miles on it and YES I've muzzled it before any problems arise. Life is good.
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
I was so put off by VCM problems that I was looking specifically for an EX model without VCM when I was shopping. I came across my EX-L and figured I'd take a gamble with it at the right price. As long as the engine didn't exhibit major VCM problems at the time of purchase, muzzling it would prevent any further damage. I would never have purchased the EX-L if muzzlers didn't exist. I don't think I would have purchased it I hadn't learned that non-active mounts could be used, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I was so put off by VCM problems that I was looking specifically for an EX model without VCM when I was shopping. I came across my EX-L and figured I'd take a gamble with it at the right price. As long as the engine didn't exhibit major VCM problems at the time of purchase, muzzling it would prevent any further damage. I would never have purchased the EX-L if muzzlers didn't exist. I don't think I would have purchased it I hadn't learned that non-active mounts could be used, either.
Good to know on the non-active mounts...it's remotely possible my mounts in my "new" one are a bit soft. When I cold start it there is a very small sound (like a clunk but less serious) in the front like the motor is rotating in the mounts more than it should before it starts. I'm not keen on $500 per mount to replace them. I'll look for a thread on this topic.
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Good to know on the non-active mounts...it's remotely possible my mounts in my "new" one are a bit soft. When I cold start it there is a very small sound (like a clunk but less serious) in the front like the motor is rotating in the mounts more than it should before it starts. I'm not keen on $500 per mount to replace them. I'll look for a thread on this topic.
I should have clarified --- non-active mounts ONLY exist for the 3rd gen (2005-2010). Since LX and EX models of the 3rd gen didn't have VCM, they had regular, old-school engine mounts. If VCM is disabled on a 3rd gen EX-L or Touring, you could use the LX/EX mounts provided you change one bracket, the rest will bolt in just fine.

All 4th gen Odysseys came with VCM, regardless of trim. Therefore, no non-active factory mount exists for your 4th gen. You'll have to pay the $500+ per mount if they actually need to be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Although almost no one else mentions it I find one of the biggest plus's to a muzzler is when you take your foot off the gas the car slows down due to engine braking. An un-muzzled EXL just keeps coasting in eco mode until you have to slam on the brakes. I found that annoying especially with the brake rotor problem, nothing like having to overuse the brakes while the VCM system eats up your piston rings. That is some engineering there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
I should have clarified --- non-active mounts ONLY exist for the 3rd gen (2005-2010). Since LX and EX models of the 3rd gen didn't have VCM, they had regular, old-school engine mounts. If VCM is disabled on a 3rd gen EX-L or Touring, you could use the LX/EX mounts provided you change one bracket, the rest will bolt in just fine.

All 4th gen Odysseys came with VCM, regardless of trim. Therefore, no non-active factory mount exists for your 4th gen. You'll have to pay the $500+ per mount if they actually need to be replaced.
I think another clarification is if you use non-active mounts you would want to get S-VCM or VCMTUNER II to ensure VCM never comes on. With passive resistance muzzlers in some conditions VCM will turn on which is not good with non-active mounts.
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
I think another clarification is if you use non-active mounts you would want to get S-VCM or VCMTUNER II to ensure VCM never comes on. With passive resistance muzzlers in some conditions VCM will turn on which is not good with non-active mounts.
Yes, this. I currently have the MaxMuzzler and if I ever need engine mounts, I'll have to switch to the S-VCM or VCMTunerII. Can't use the MaxMuzzler with passive mounts from what I understand.
 

·
Registered
2006 Honda Odyssey (EX)
Joined
·
1,289 Posts
Yes, this. I currently have the MaxMuzzler and if I ever need engine mounts, I'll have to switch to the S-VCM or VCMTunerII. Can't use the MaxMuzzler with passive mounts from what I understand.
Yeah. You can't use any of the passive ones
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I’ve heard of many people talking about how bad the VCM is on the Honda 3.5’s. So basically, ? it can cause:

Oil consumption
Quickly worn out engine mounts
Vibrations
Fouled spark plugs

Are these pretty much all of the symptoms or am I missing something? This does not seem like a big deal; I have about 120k miles on my VCM engine and I don’t have any of these problems. But if there are worse symptoms that can be caused by VCM I will probably get the VCM muzzler.
Also are there any downsides to deactivating VCM besides lower fuel mileage?

Thanks for any help
Waiting until you have problems is not useful at all.
The Muzzler PREVENTS the problem; it will not CURE the problem once it exists.
If thousands of dollars in repairs is not a big deal to you, as you are imdicating, then do nothing.
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Waiting until you have problems is not useful at all.
The Muzzler PREVENTS the problem; it will not CURE the problem once it exists.
If thousands of dollars in repairs is not a big deal to you, as you are imdicating, then do nothing.
To be fair, in many cases, it does sort of cure the problem by cleaning up the piston rings. It doesn't work every time, but in "mild" cases, it can reverse the damage somewhat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: thscott

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Just chiming in on my experiences with VCM (and elimination). I had a 2008 Ody with about 190k that I purchased with about 105k on it. I had several strange stumbling issues which switching in and out of ECO mode, one which sent a code which prevented the tranny from locking up on the highway. Fortunately this was reset by restarting the vehicle. I started reading up on this topic and heard about VCM elimination and seemed like a possibly good idea, but I wasn't sold.

I had a free Saturday and decided to do the valve adjustment myself. When I got the valve covers off, the difference in color and condition between the front and rear bank was night and day. Front looked like a new car, rear was all gunky and black. And, yes I changed the oil every 5-7k miles. Some may be due to the location of the cylinder bank, but could be (?) the fact that the rears run less often?

I figured let's give it a whirl, and bought the S-VCM (about $100). It took 5 minutes to install, and no codes. From the first 2 minutes of driving, it's like I had a new vehicle. The smoothness and energetic feel of my Ody was vastly improved. No more hunting for gears on the highway with the cruise on...it used to have a lugging sound, then no lugging, then kickdown...after installation a big improvement. I track all my fuel economy in all my vehicles, and measured about 1-1.5 reduction in mpg on the highway, no noticeable reduction in town at all. Worth it.

I drove it to just over 200k, then sold it, keeping the S-VCM for the 2015 I bought. I bought it (110k) from a private seller who had just done a ring job on the rear banks. He said the car stumbled, almost stalled, then threw a CEL. Dealer told him the #2 plug was completely coated in oil, and needed the rear bank re-ringed...>$4000 in repairs, no warranty, ouch! He gave me the receipts...it wasn't pretty.

I drove this new one for about 2 weeks to get a baseline in fuel economy, then installed my VCM. I recorded a similar reduction of maybe 1+ mpg on the highway, and negligible in town. But this one gets 26+ at 70mph which is vastly superior to my 08 which I was getting more like 22 (both with S-VCM installed), so I'm thrilled either way.

My recommendation - it's $100 give or take, and 5-15 minutes depending upon your ability. Any Honda with VCM should have this installed ASAP. My old one went 190k before I put it in (and I don't know what was done for repairs before 105k when I bought it), but the new one had MAJOR engine repairs needed at about 100k, so I would not roll the dice. AND the car drives so much better without it, the 1 mpg is a very small sacrifice, even for me driving 130 miles a day.

You could just say "don't buy a Honda with VCM", but then you'd miss out on all of the other fantastic things about this vehicle. Honda bulletproof reliability is mostly, in my mind, a thing of the past, but I keep buying them due to everything else I like about their cars. If VCM elimination can make the car more bulletproof, I'm sold.
Which models and years have and don’t have VCM? I have a 2005 . It’s the model just under touring. I have 205k miles on it and after about 110k miles began doing drain and fills on thr trans every other oil change. at about 170 I changed the motor mounts and 2 of the trans oil pressure sensors. I can see and feel the ECO light go on and off but never considered the sounds and shifts too rough. Neither the engine or trans has ever had work done other than routine maintenance: serpentine belt, Belt tensioner, timing belt, tensioner, water pump, Plugs. Tires have worn perfectly and haven’t changed shocks.
 

·
Registered
2007 Odyssey EX-L
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
Which models and years have and don’t have VCM? I have a 2005 . It’s the model just under touring. I have 205k miles on it and after about 110k miles began doing drain and fills on thr trans every other oil change. at about 170 I changed the motor mounts and 2 of the trans oil pressure sensors. I can see and feel the ECO light go on and off but never considered the sounds and shifts too rough. Neither the engine or trans has ever had work done other than routine maintenance: serpentine belt, Belt tensioner, timing belt, tensioner, water pump, Plugs. Tires have worn perfectly and haven’t changed shocks.
You have a 2005 EX-L. The 2005-2007 EX-L and Touring trims came with VCM ("VCM1"). LX and EX trims did not have VCM.

2008-2010 EX-L and Touring trims came with VCM2. LX and EX, no VCM.

2011-2017, all trims came with VCM2. All 2018+ trims came with VCM3.

I'm hoping I can get away with never having to change my shocks/struts, since I'm only at 87K. They seem fine for now. I'm not holding my breath, though, since the previous owner lived in pothole central (Brooklyn, NY) for many years.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top